Metro Snapshot: April 20, 2009 - Metro US

Metro Snapshot: April 20, 2009

HELD HOSTAGE: Police were on scene after at least one gunman boarded a Canada-bound flight from Jamaica and was reportedly holding hostages. A spokesperson said few passengers had boarded the plane at the time the situation began.

THE YOUNG AND THE JOBLESS: Among the ways the current recession differs from previous downturns is the rate at which young people have found themselves tossed out of the workforce. Many recent university graduates, some of whom began jobs immediately after wrapping up their studies, have gone back to living with their parents and working minimum wage jobs since becoming casualties of cost-cutting layoffs.

NO MORE PAIN: “Pain at the pump” was among the more dominant headlines last summer as skyrocketing oil prices took a big chunk out of consumers’ wallets and added fuel to the fire for the auto industry’s green movement. This summer, however, drivers will likely enjoy one of the few silver linings to the recent economic misery as a drop in demand is expected to keep gas prices at their current rate.

TRYING TIME: As the mystery surrounding Tori Stafford’s disappearance grows, stress lines among the girl’s friends and family were deepening. Despite an outpouring of community support, the girl’s father told reporters that “everybody is starting to crack,” even as police intensified their search.

ILLICIT GAINS: Convicted murderer Colin Thatcher likely considers himself lucky to be living in Saskatchewan, because there is no law preventing him from pocketing profits from his memoirs. Thatcher, who has maintained his innocence since his ex-wife was found bludgeoned and shot to death, would be unable to collect proceeds in provinces that forbid criminals from profiting from their crimes.

HAIL TO THE CHIEF: The Summit of The Americas began with some anxiety over tension between the United States and countries such as Venezuela and Cuba. However, world leaders — including Prime Minister Stephen Harper — emerged from the meeting hailing the new approach of President Barack Obama. For his part, Obama signalled his hopes for renewed relationships in South America, but said success would be found in “deeds” and not words.

Another person who found success at the summit was Uruguayan journalist Eduardo Galeano. The author of “Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent” saw his book rocket to the top of bestseller lists after Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez gave a copy of it to President Obama.

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